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What's the Buzz?

Aired May 30, 2003 - 20:48   ET


Time to shake it loose. It's toward the end of LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES, Friday night. We want to check in with insider media types to find out what the buzz is in their cities.

Tonight, we have a great line-up. We have "Washington Post" columnist Lloyd Grove. He's in the nation's capital. "New York Daily News" columnist George Rush right here with me in New York City. And in Los Angeles, "US" magazine editor-at-large Jeanne Wolf.

Ladies and gentlemen, thanks for being with us today. Boy, do we have interesting topics tonight.

And George, we are going to start with you. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. Now this is a couple that doesn't do anything small. They have taken a little trip to Israel. But what about this group that they went to visit?


KAGAN: Yes, the Black Hebrews.

RUSH: Yes, I think it stunned a lot of people, although the members of this group, which migrated to Israel at the end of the '60s led by a Chicago bus driver, they had been kind of ingratiating themselves with Whitney and Bobby for some time and one of them spoke at the recent funeral of her father. But, you know, it's odd. You know, even by Whitney and Bobby's standards.

KAGAN: Even by the Whitney/Bobby standard, which is pretty high.

Jeanne, let's bring you in here. You know, we can look at this group and say a little bit different, but actually I think some of their friends are actually concerned about this trip.

JEANNE WOLF, US MAGAZINE: Well, some of their friends are concerned about this trip because the Black Hebrews, as they're called -- well, some people think that they're kind of a cult. They have religious practices where they're vegans and they have strict dietary laws. But many of the people in this group practice polygamy. Now that's the scandal.

(CROSSTALK) KAGAN: Did you see that picture we just had up on the screen? Let's put that picture back up. I think it's Whitney getting baptized.

WOLF: It's the photo op seen around the world. And some people think among their religious practices are personal cleansing. And every body who knows Whitney and every body who cares about Whitney knows she needs to clean up her act.

When I heard she was on a spiritual journey to Israel, my heart leapt. I thought, Oh, she's going to be fine. And then I heard that just days before at the VH-1 concert in Vegas, she was acting anything but sober.

KAGAN: All right. Lloyd, let's bring the D.C. angle in here. These are some pretty incredible pictures here,

You know, Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, and Ariel Sharon?

LLOYD GROVE, COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I don't think this is part of what President Bush means when he talks about the road map.


GROVE: It's just typical Whitney weirdo stuff and...

KAGAN: But how this is playing in Washington? How's this playing in Washington? I mean, Whitney Houston, ambassador to the Mideast?

GROVE: I don't think -- I mean, people are looking at it as though they're watching pictures radio back from the Voyager or something.

KAGAN: A different type of reality show, perhaps.

GROVE: It just doesn't compute.

KAGAN: All right.

WOLF: I think it's more practical than that. It's just -- you know, it's Israel promoting tourism and getting a photo op with one of the biggest stars in the world, saying in a sort of not so subtle way, Hey, it's safe. If Whitney can come here, so can you.

GROVE: And also if Bobby Brown has a medical problem, I understand the medicine in Israel is excellent.

KAGAN: There it is. I don't know if pictures are like that are going to encourage people to go to Israel, but, you know, power to them for trying that.

Lloyd, we're going to keep it on you and talk about a situation between former Senator Bob Dole and President Clinton. Of course, they had this gig on "60 minutes" that was coming to an end. And apparently the last go-around didn't really work so well.

GROVE: Well, this thing has not lived up to expectations and people talk like it's going to be canceled. And so Dole decided that, you know, he'd address this thing. And say, you know, unemployment, we're going to lose our jobs, Mr. President. And he wrote a very funny script and he's all ready to deliver it and Clinton balked and didn't want to do it.

KAGAN: I think we actually have the script. So let's put it up and then give viewers a better idea of what we're talking about. What Bob Dole wanted to say.

"Mr. President, tonight I'd like you to talk about the danger of unemployment for me and you. CBS is considering pulling the plug. What are we going to do"

I think it goes on. Do we have more of that?

"How about this? Use the next 45 seconds to do something totally new. Admit you made even one mistake in office. If we have time left over, just plug Hillary's book."

That's kind of funny stuff.

GROVE: Yes, you know, he's very funny. Of course all the humor in this was at Bill Clinton's expense. I guess when Bill Clinton saw the script he didn't laugh as hard as I did. I laughed out loud when I read it the first time.

And, you know, Dole, he's a sharp, humored guy. You know, he wields a knife, but sort of like he's gutting a fish. He's very skillful at it.

KAGAN: Jeanne, you know Bob Dole. Do you think he was just going for a good laugh with this or was he being mean?

WOLF: Well, I think he was taking his digs not only at Bill Clinton but at himself.

And basically, part of what he was digging was the fact that every one always says, Gee, we're sick of those people yelling at each other and being so cruel to each other on TV. But when they're gentlemanly, they bore us to death and we won't let them get away with it.

KAGAN: Yes, this was one that never really quite took off.

All right, George...

RUSH: I'm surprised because Clinton has a good sense of humor too. I mean, you'd think he would come up with a Viagra joke or some thing.

KAGAN: Something or another. Just never did.

WOLF: It's a bit of role reversal, wouldn't you say? Bob Dole, who used to be the sinister guy, suddenly being the one willing to make fun? And Bill Clinton, who every one's making fun of, wanting to come off as the serious statesman?

GROVE: George, i think it's risky for Clinton to be doing Viagra jokes.

KAGAN: That's true.


KAGAN: Bob Dole, Mr. Personality, who would ever think?

OK, we're going to bring it back to New York City and George. You were talking about George Steinbrenner and Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, the owner and star. Not -- this is not really going well since spring training. This has not been a love match.

RUSH: No, back in February, Steinbrenner criticized Derek's party habits. He said he didn't like him staying out all hours of the night, and thought that wasn't good for his game. They traded words. And then they seemed to have made up recently...

KAGAN: There's a commercial out.

RUSH: Precisely.

KAGAN: I think we have it. Let's take a look at it.

RUSH: Let's take a look at that.


GEORGE STEINBRENNER, YANKEES OWNER: Come on in, Derek. I thought we discussed this thing and had it all worked out. You're our starting shortstop. How can you possibly afford to spend two nights dancing, two nights eating out, and three nights just carousing with your friends?


NARRATOR: If you want to enjoy the New York nightlife, bring your Visa card. Because Orso Cheetah (ph) and the Broom Street Bar (ph) don't take American Express.


KAGAN: Well that looks like they're having a good time, making fun of the differences.

RUSH: And the proceed to join a conga line.

I think it was -- the commercial is designed to show that all's forgiven between Steinbrenner and Derek. Of course, as soon as he's made it, now Derek was out Wednesday night in New York and we got an exclusive picture of him around 4:00 in the morning, charming a blonde who was not the girlfriend he has been going out with, actress Jordana Brewster, but another one who seemed suitable for him. And he had a glass of what looked like booze in his hand.

KAGAN: Well, you know, he's been injured. Perhaps this was part of his physical therapy.

RUSH: Yes, that was his therapist.

WOLF: Hey guys, watch out. The next commercial is going to be George doing a commercial with Derek so that he won't report on his comings and goings any more.

KAGAN: There you go.

Well, always fun to wrap up the week with you guys, all three of you. Appreciate it. Thank you for being with us. Jeanne Wolf, George Rush, and Lloyd Grove.

You guys have a great weekend.


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